It’s been 50 years, and people are still talking about the Beatles.
That’s OK with Bobby Long. He hopes Americans can appreciate one more British singer.
“I feel like I’m always caught up with the Beatles,” said Long, 28, who will play WAMC’s The Linda in Albany on Friday. “Their catalog is so vast and so different … to me, they’re the best, they’re the greatest. Especially now when good music is heard less and less on the radio.”
Long is working to be heard more and more on the radio and in concert halls. He believes he’s making strides toward future goals.
“It’s all really good,” he said of his career. “I feel like it’s evolving. I’ve always been pretty aware that for me to get to the position of my heroes, it’s going to take time. It’s really about cultivating a fan base and evolving musically, and I feel that I’m doing that.”
WHERE: WAMC’s The Linda, 339 Central Ave., Albany
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday
HOW MUCH: $17
MORE INFO: 465-5233, www.wamcarts.org
The local fan base will hear selections from Long’s first two albums, “A Winter Tale” and “Wishbone” when The Linda show begins at 8 p.m. He made some fans during a 2013 appearance at Larkfest; he’s in rotation at Amsterdam radio station WEXT, Exit 97.7
The “Winter Tale” album was a live recording, part acoustic with pedal steel and double bass. “Had a country-ish thing going,” Long said.
“Wishbone” was electric, a harder sound with more specific guitar parts and more of Long’s own harmonies. The singer is now writing for his third release, which will expand on his folk-based origins.
Long is seeing more guys at his shows these days. Like the British sensations from 1964, Long’s first shows attracted many female fans. He understands why young guys might have been staying home.
“It takes a lot for me to go to a show,” Long said. “That could be the case, especially for guys my age.”
Long will perform solo and hopes to chat up men and women during the acoustic sets. “I do take requests and I’ll talk a lot,” he said. “Whether it’s stories or talking about the songs themselves, I’m just trying to engage people on as many levels as I can.
“The idea is to try to transport them into my stupid head for an hour and get them to feel comfortable enough to get them to relate to the songs I’m singing.”
Long, who was raised near Manchester, has been living in New York City for the last four years. Brooklyn is his current home. He doesn’t write a lot of silly love songs, or stories about love lost. “I’ve got a girlfriend,” he said. “I’m kind of happy.”
“I like writing about everything,” he added. “I feel most comfortable writing about the now, where my head is. Everything is very in the moment.”
A few weeks ago, he was looking into his street on a winter day. Thoughts quickly became words. “I had the feelings right then and there to create a story around that,” Long said. “That’s what I like, to write instantaneously.”
Character studies in song are OK, too. “I come from an area in England, there’s a lot of characters up north near Manchester,” he said. “Everyone in my family is a character. There isn’t a single person in my family who isn’t memorable. I was always brought up to admire people like that … I feel like I’m a bit of a magnet for them.”
Reach Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 395-3124 or at [email protected]